City region hosts ‘early years festival’

A free festival that aims to bring together parents from across Liverpool city region is taking place this week

Child, children, parents
The First Five Festival is taking place across Liverpool city region

 

A free festival is taking place across the six Liverpool city region local authority areas this week that aims to bring together parents to share experiences.

There are 15 drop-in events taking place in Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton as part of the First Five Festival. Sessions will cover topics including perinatal mental health, wellbeing and self-care for both parent and child.

Parents will also have the chance to have their say about services for families with children under five in Merseyside. There’ll also be children’s entertainment events. Activities will include face painting, glitter tattoos, a petting farm and story times.

Anna-Louise Van Der Merwe, trust director of The Foundation Years Trust, said: “We’re very excited to be bringing the First Five Festival to the region. One of the post-pandemic priorities we identified was to support parents’ roles in developing infant speech and language skills. This series of events will be one of our first steps in making this happen.”

The festival will culminate on Saturday, June 18 with an event in collaboration with PSS at Chavasse Park. This will offer an array of free activities including face-painting and dancing through to storytelling.

PSS clinical psychologist Dr Michael Galbraith added: “Most people can’t remember what happened to them when they were under two years old. But this actually makes this time more important – not less.

“Experiences get ‘wired in’ to babies’ brains. This is why it’s so important that we support babies and their parents and carers to make the early years as good as possible. Babies love to feel connected to people, listened to, helped to explore things, comforted and to have fun.

“Events such as the First Five Festival are a fantastic way for parents and carers to take a moment out of their busy lives. It allows them to slow down and enjoy some time with their families. And they can make some lovely memories together and get tips, advice and support from local organisations if they’d like to.”

First Five Collective is a network of 30 organisations. It is headed by Foundation Years Trust and works with a number of partners to support families from pregnancy through to when their child attends school.

The First Five Festival is being funded by the Liverpool ONE Foundation, The Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, The Torus Foundation and the Duchy of Lancaster. Click here to find out more about the festival and click here to find out about Saturday’s event.

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